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EGYPT · Feluccas and Pharaohs · Active Single Parent Family Holiday

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Date No of nights Adult Child 12+ Child 5-11yrs Local Payment
24 October-2 November 2010
9 £1139 £1109 £1019 None
20 February-1 March 2011 (Sun-Tue) 9 £1129 £1119 £1029 None
13-22 April 2011
9 £1129 £1119 £1029 None

Flights and Transfers: Direct flights with Egyptair from London Heathrow. Domestic flight with Egyptair. Flight schedules and preferred airlines can change.

Transport included: Minibus, train, felucca, calesh (horse-drawn carriage), boat, on foot, domestic flight, (camel)

Accommodation included: Hotels (7nts), sleeper train (1nt), felucca (1nt) You'll stay in hotels with en suite facilities. On the felucca, mattresses and blankets are provided. Be prepared for simple conditions. On the overnight train you'll have a couchette berth.

Meals included: 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 5 evening meals are included on this trip; you'll have to pay for all other meals. Approximate average costs are given below. These are for guidance only and may vary widely according to the location and type of establishment.

  • Coffee/tea UK £1.50
  • Soft drink £1.00
  • Medium beer £3.00
  • Local snack lunch £4.00
  • 3-course dinner* £8.00
  • *reasonable mid-range tourist class restaurant

Your trip starts in Cairo with a visit to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx – even the younger children are overcome with awe at the sight of these wonders of the ancient world! Next it's the Egyptian Museum, where you'll learn about the mysteries of the mummies, and marvel at the treasure of the boy-king, Tutankhamun. Catching the overnight sleeper train to Aswan, you have time to explore its colourful bazaar or ride camels within sight of the Nile and enjoy a visit to a Nubian village to take dinner with a local family.

feluccas01You sail down the Nile aboard feluccas – traditional Egyptian sailboats – stopping on your journey to visit the temple at Kom Ombo. You also drive to Luxor, home to the world's greatest collection of antiquities. As well as exploring the monumental temple at Karnak, you visit the tombs of the Pharaohs, hidden away in the Valley of the Kings. Then, a brief stay at Hurghada gives you a chance to swim & snorkel in the Red Sea before returning to Cairo.

In the summer (Mar-Oct), it is dry and hot during the day (average daytime temp. Cairo 30-36°C, higher in the south), and warm at night. There is hardly any rainfall at any time of year in the south, although Cairo does get some, generally short-lived, rain in winter.

The holiday was wonderful! I can't fault it. From beginning to end it was one big exciting adventure. Throughout the whole time we were well-organised, well-looked after and entertained. Our guide, Mohamed was fantastic. He was interesting and informative and really cared for our welfare and safety. The holiday was well-structured, with lots of activity and moving around the first few days, but more relaxed towards the end.

The hotels we stayed in were lovely, and there was plenty of time to use their facilities, like the pool. The over-night train and boat rides were a real adventure too.

Joel made friends with other children his age and all the folk on the trip were friendly. It really was everything I had hoped for and was a fantastic way of seeing Egypt for the first time. I am sure that other families would love it too.


Adventure Level

This trip has a very full itinerary but offers a pleasant balance between relaxation and activity – we don't overload children with too many sites. It is not a luxury trip – conditions on the felucca sailboats and the overnight train are very simple, but accommodation elsewhere is modest, clean and comfortable. There are some early starts on this trip. Please note some road journeys in Egypt are operated by the authorities in convoys. This means that travelling times will be fixed and arrival times into destinations may vary to those described here, with sightseeing adjusted accordingly. Minimum age: 5 years.

Itinerary Summary

Day 1: Depart London
Following your flight you transfer to your first night's accommodation and check in. Hotel – 1 night (Swimming Pool)
Day 2: feluccas_mapCairo - Overnight Train
With a population of around eighteen million people, Cairo is Africa's largest city by far. Yet despite its size, Cairo retains a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Its long and colourful history dates from the 7th century AD, when it was established by the Arab leader Amr ibn al-As, and called Fustat (the tent). Today you'll enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of two of the city's most celebrated sights. At Giza, to the west of the city, the enigmatic Sphinx and great pyramids still stand on the edge of the empty desert overlooking the city. More than 4000 years old, the pyramids are the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that remain intact – a testimony to the ingenuity and skill of their builders. The famed Egyptian Museum holds many thousands of exhibits; your local guide will focus on the Tutankhamun collection – probably the world's greatest archaeological find. You'll see the treasure found in the tomb of the boy-king: the jewel-encrusted golden mask, the golden sarcophagus and throne, plus many everyday articles, which were entombed with him to be used in the afterlife. Although a wonderful experience for all, it will bring together all the things the kids have been learning about at school … and give you a taste for what's to come at the Valley of the Kings, the burial place of Tutankhamun! In the evening you board the overnight train to the southern city of Aswan. Overnight sleeper train – 1 night (BD)
Day 3: Aswan
Arriving in Aswan in the morning, you see that it is here that the Nile runs deep and fast between granite rocks as the desert encroaches on the river. Even to travellers in ancient times, the town was legendary as the entrance to the kingdom of Nubia. Today it's still something of a frontier town, where the Arab Middle East meets black Africa. With its mixed population of Egyptians and Nubians, Aswan is quite unlike any other town in the country. By virtue of its position on the old caravan route, it has always been a trading centre and we thoroughly recommend a visit to the packed bazaar where merchants display a wealth of exotic spices, carpets, leather goods and countless other wares. Kids will be thrilled by the sight of donkey carts and men in flowing robes and turbans. The climate in winter is almost perfect – hardly a drop of rain falls here and the temperature hovers around 25?C. In the afternoon there may be time to take a taxi out to visit the temple of Isis at Philae. There are many other sites to be seen around Aswan and your Group Leader may be able to organise some, for example to the remarkable Unfinished Obelisk. In the evening there is a trip across the river to a Nubian village where you enjoy dinner at one of the local houses. Hotel - 1 night (Swimming Pool) (BD)
Day 4: Nile Felucca Journey
A very early start usually allows for an optional excursion to Abu Simbel, just 50 kilometres from the border with Sudan. Alternatively, kids will love the optional camel ride to St. Simeon's Monastery - a real desert experience! By late morning you board the feluccas and settle down to relax. The Nile has a fascination all of its own and remains the principal focus for most visitors to Egypt. In ancient legend it was the very giver of life, and the rich silt deposited by its annual flooding created the fertile plain. This was cultivated intensely to sustain the population that lived along the river; even in modern times it both feeds and provides a livelihood for millions of people. Camping (sleeping on mattresses on the deck of the felucca) – 1 night. (BLD)
Day 5: Kom Ombo & Luxor
This morning you'll visit the temple at Kom Ombo, uniquely dedicated to two gods: Haroeris (Horus the elder) and the crocodile-headed Sobek, god of the Nile. Kids (and adults?) will cringe at the mummified crocs on display! On the east bank around Kom Ombo, reclaimed land is fed by canals to keep the desert at bay - it supports not only crops of sugar cane but also a large Nubian community displaced from their homeland by the rising waters of Lake Nasser. You transfer by bus to Luxor, travelling as part of a convoy – total time approximately four hours. Following the path of the Nile you retrace your route northwards. Known in ancient times as Thebes, Luxor was the capital of Egypt's New Kingdom for some 500 years. Upon arrival, there will be time to look around the town's monuments and museum, and it may be possible to visit Karnak temple to witness the memorable sound and light show (optional) which relates its history in suitably dramatic fashion. Hotel – 2 nights (Swimming Pool) (B)
Day 6: Luxor
This morning you visit the ancient tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. Rising early, you cross the Nile and drive to the secluded valley where 63 Pharaohs were buried as part of their journey to the after-life. In the company of a local guide, you can explore some of the exquisitely decorated tombs of these rulers of long ago. It is here that the burial site of the boy-king Tutankhamun, discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922, can be found (optional visit). This visit to the Valley of the Kings brings to life much of what you saw in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. On your way back to the river, you can see the imposing funerary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt's first female ruler. This afternoon you're free to explore Luxor, or perhaps just relax by the hotel swimming pool. It may also be possible to take an optional hot air balloon ride early one morning during your stay in Luxor. (B)
Day 7: Hurghada
In the early morning, horse-drawn carriages drive you to the grandest of Egypt's historic temples – Karnak, which you explore with a local guide. Many architects and engineers contributed to its construction, a task that spanned the reign of successive Pharaohs over a period of 1400 years. The highlights of its many wonders are the great hypostyle hall, which contains 134 huge columns, and the beautifully carved obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut. The sheer scale and massive bulk of these monuments testify to the wealth and the level of organisation of early Egyptian civilisation. This afternoon you say farewell to the Nile and drive eastwards to Hurghada (4 hours). The green Nile valley is soon left behind as you head out into the barren Eastern Desert. Passing through rocky hills, the glittering waters of the Red Sea soon come into view and the rugged bulk of the Sinai Peninsula looms through the haze on the opposite shore. Hurghada is a vibrant beach resort. Although by no means a typical ‘adventure destination', enjoying the superb snorkelling on offer here is a great way to round off your trip. Hotel – 2 nights (Swimming Pool) (BD)
Day 8: Hurghada
This morning you take to the waves and head out to the lovely offshore reefs where you can swim and snorkel to see the abundance of vividly coloured marine life that inhabits the warm waters. You take snorkels, masks, and fins with you (although if you have a particular favourite we recommend you bring that from home – see notes also under “equipment” below) and lunch is provided on the boat. Pods of frolicking dolphins are not an unusual sight and there are colourful fish in abundance – snorkelling is a real highlight of your trip! (BLD)
Day 9: Cairo
Very early this morning, you make the short drive to Hurghada's airport and take a flight back to Cairo. Once back in the capital, there should be time for further exploration on one of several optional trips that can be arranged. Later this evening your Group Leader will no doubt organise a traditional ‘last supper'. Hotel – 1 night (B) (Swimming Pool)
Day 10: Fly to London
Clients travelling on our group flights transfer to airport and fly to London.